On the right road: Travel times slashed by €400m motorway
Motorists are set to save up to half-an-hour's travel time thanks to the €400m new M11 Gorey-Enniscorthy motorway in Wexford.
The 39km project was opened by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as he hailed the motorway as a vital boost for the entire south-eastern economy.
The project comprises three sections of roadway including a public private partnership scheme (PPS).
These include the M11 Gorey-Enniscorthy PPS, the M11-N11 mainline and the N30 dual-carriageway.
Mr Varadkar said that the 39km road sections, which critically will allow traffic to avoid Enniscorthy town, will save motorists 30 minutes' travel time between Dublin and Wexford at peak time and up to 15 minutes during off-peak time.
Enniscorthy has been struggling over recent years to cope with 6,000 vehicle movements a day - with the bypass fully open to traffic from 4pm yesterday.
"This is a vital project not just for Wexford but for the entire south-east," Mr Varadkar said.
"This is yet more proof of the Government's capital programme being delivered. This is a first-class piece of transport infrastructure. It will deliver its benefits for decades to come."
The project cost €400m and work on it began in January 2016 and involved 1,850,000 man hours of labour. It includes 57 new structures, including eight overbridges, five underbridges, 31 farm accommodation underpasses and three rail river bridges. During construction, 129 previously unknown archaeological sites were discovered and excavated.
Wexford County Council chairman, Councillor Michael Sheehan, said it was a major day for Wexford and the south-east.
"Wexford is open for development, growth and investment with Dublin now within easy reach," he said.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland chairman Cormac O'Rourke said the motorway was "a significant milestone".